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This book, which covers Visions and hallucinations, explains what causes them and summarises how many hallucinations have been caused by each event or activity. It also provides specific help with questions people have asked us, such as ‘Is my medication giving me hallucinations?’.

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Observations placeholder

Pantomines and funeral



Type of Spiritual Experience


This is a very special observation.  It demonstrates the power of what is in effect prayer - the combined thoughts of a large number of people coupled with high emotion.

The person who provided me with this observation is a sociable jolly empathetic caring man who feels strongly about his fellow beings.  As a hobby, he gets involved in amateur dramatics and one of his best friends was a man who organised the pantomines at Christmas.

This man was diagnosed with cancer but knowing he was dying he organised his own funeral to be an event that was to be full of drama rather than morbid and gloomy.  He arranged for lots of colour and music and the finishing touch was to have the curtains close on his coffin and then open again, as if life was all a play and we the players in it.  It was thus intended and in the end  turned out to be a highly emotional event, perhaps more emotional because it combined joy and sorrow.  It lasted nearly 2 hours because so many people wanted to add their praise of him

In the end he died and his funeral was arranged, but the person who gave me this description realised he couldn't go, he had organised a cruise trip around the Mediterranean.  He was naturally  a bit distraught about this as he had been great friends with this man.  I will now let him take up the story....


A description of the experience

Well we went on the cruise, but on the whole we didn't go on that many trips out because of T's foot being so bad.  We rested and enjoyed the break instead.  But towards the end of the holiday they organised a trip to Athens and I felt the need to go.  I wasn't sure why, but it seemed important that I do go, so I paid [it was quite pricey too] and off we set.

It was interesting, but T was a bit confused about why I had decided to choose this one particular trip out of all the others on offer, as it wasn't particularly special; or even that different in many ways from the others.  And I couldn't tell her why I had either!

But we ended up in a large square with a huge cathedral being renovated.  It was obvious they had brought us here to shop and have a coffee and that is what most people did.  But I wandered round the outside of the cathedral [the cathedral  itself was shut] and found a chapel, so tiny it had no seats and only an altar and candles.

I have no idea why I went in, I am not religious and the chapel wasn't that special really - a few paintings on the wall, a very simple altar, but something inside my head told me to go in, and what was more strange was this sense of incredible urgency that I had to light a candle.  I have never lit  a candle in a church before, it was the weirdest sensation, a sort of intense urging that I cannot explain.

Well I lit the candle and put some money in the box and a wave of emotion came over me and I cried.  I cried and cried and cried inside that chapel and I couldn't explain why.  Being a man this is not normal for me and I didn't know what to do, lighting a candle shouldn't have this effect!

T took me for a coffee in one of the cafes in the square and I calmed down a bit.  I looked at my watch to make sure we didn't miss the coach back and it was then I realised it was the time of XXXs funeral - and it was the exact time allowing for the time difference.  I had lost track of the dates and I checked the date on my watch and it was the exact day too.  So in effect I had had this need to light a candle at the exact point at which the service was being held.

I was very shaken as you can imagine.  I suppose some may say I subconsciously knew when his funeral was and the date, and it was my subconscious talking, but my suconscious did not know the date or the time.  And  this does not explain the feeling I had, or the coincidence of being in that place with its candles.  Nor can it really explain the emotions.  I felt as if a thousand voices were calling out to me to light the candle - for whom of course I did not realise at the time -  but in the end it was for XXX.

It was because I couldn't be there with him, so instead I connected with the people at home and offered what I could from where I was.  I can tell you I am still thinking about this, it has quite shaken me.

The source of the experience

Observer 771

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps





Enacting ritual and ceremony